Many would argue if Mika's would qualify as a rags-to-riches story, since his public perception is limited to his lip-lock with a certain item girl. But as the highest paid singer in Bollywood today, his 12-year-stint in the industry is surely a case study worth exploring.
Mika began his musical career as a guitarist for his brother Daler Mahendi, who had attained legendary pop status in the 90s. His first solo album 'Sawan Mein Lag Gayi Aag' spread like wild fire from clubs to rickshaws and gave him an identity apart from being known as Daler's brother. But his debut in Bollywood happened only when he managed to convince Sanjay Gupta that gangsters can sing. Although Gupta was quite opposed to the idea, when he heard the track 'Aye Ganpat', he was only too excited to include it in "Shootout at Lokhandwala".
Soon, there was no looking back. Every big-budget blockbuster from 'Jab We Met' to 'Singh is King' had to have a Mika song. His voice had a certain nasal twang and folk feel that was just right for tapori numbers like "Dil Mein Baji Guitar" (Apna Sapna Money Money) and even memorable tributes to classic numbers like "Apni to Jaise Taise" (Housefull) and "Pyar Do Pyar Lo" (Thank You). With a string of chartbusters to his credit and industry legends like Sonu Nigam and Sukhwinder losing out to numbers that he bagged, it is safe to say Mika had arrived.
In the first six months of this year, he's has had more hits than any other singer and ET's weekly survey also provides that the top three most downloaded songs in India for weeks now have been Mika's. So while he 'dhinka chika's' all the way to the bank today, we wonder if he ever imagined that his quirky vocals would get him here. We didn't!